I was reading a wonderful adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" to the children this evening.* Becca was doing dishes, so I left the music going quietly to provide her a soundtrack beyond that of my droning voice.

Frequently, when you're scoring a film, the idea is that you don't have music with vocals going on at the same time as dialogue, because then the music tends to compete with, rather than complement the dialogue on-screen.

It so happened that we had been listening to Sea of Bees, the one-woman band composed of a woman called Jules, and, as you remember, continued to play as I read. Before I race off on a Kerouac-ian wordfest stretching into paragraphs of exultant exuberance over the brilliance of her beautiful, folksily-cinematic arrangements, I will simply conjecture that if you love:

Bob Dylan,
Be Good Tanyas,
Bon Iver,


Blonde Redhead

that there is a good chance you will fall in love with her harmony, hooks, and dynamic authenticity.

We continued through the tale of the Steadfast Tin Soldier and his love for the little dancer, and the buzz of SOB's "Wizbot" and "Gnomes" felt like the perfect accidental pairing of story with music and I almost got a little choked up when her voice started to break on the chorus of "Skinnybone" as I simultaneously read my children the apparent acceptance of the Soldier to his fate, as he is thrown -

- won't ruin the story. It's a good one.

Sea of Bees is a magnificent musical artist, and a lovely human being, based on my one conversation with her.

Happy Sunday night, all :)


*retold by Portland author Cynthia Rylant

I'm sure there's plenty of entertaining cartoons on television these days. But I have difficulty believing that any of them could top the simple brilliance, satiric adventures, and witty writing of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, and its classic characters and supporting features.

A personal favourite: Fractured Fairy Tales, which despite being half a century old, still feels post-modern and edgy. Start with "Rapunzel."


  • Robyn Kalmanson Merryman My kids love adventure Time and samurai Jack.
    9 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 2
  • Emily Crawford You might like The Boondocks, just discovered it and love it!
    7 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • Wolfgang Rickwalt The new Scooby Do has a ton of classic literature easter eggs in it.
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  • Wendy Meier My sibling and I became fans of Rocky & Bullwinkle when we were in college, and now it's so fun to share the show with the resident 8-year-old. There's so much to love, including Bullwinkle's Minnesota origins, the dog Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman who time travel, and especially Edward Everett Horton narrating the Fractured Fairy Tales. I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendation.
    6 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Sea of Bees
Skinnybone / Wizbot
Songs for the Ravens

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